Craft Tutorials and How Tos You Might Have Missed: Part 2

Best Yarn for Blankets

Hey guys! As you may remember, in part 1 of “Craft Tutorials and How Tos You Might Have Missed” we helped introduce you to some easy DIY craft ideas for the home. Well, good news-a similar list is back again! These free and simple crafting tips will help make your DIY adventures magical and are helpful to any and all skill-levels. Although you may think that you are doing crafting the easy way, these home craft tutorials will help you avoid common mistakes that every crafter makes.

Learn how to find multiple crafting uses with an old toothbrush with 17 Crafty Uses for an Old Toothbrush and discover which crafting materials are best for your specific project in Mod Podge vs. Glue. If you want to jazz up your wardrobe with tie-dyed t-shirts but don’t want to spend a lot of money then try this beginner-level craft technique Crumple Tie-Dye Technique.

Mod Podge vs. Glue

Any crafter loves a good DIY organizing project and with Pill Bottle Crafts: Reuse Pill Bottles with this Crafty Guide you can learn how to create DIY storage the affordable way! If knitting or crocheting is more your speed, find out what the best yarns are for that DIY afghan with Best Yarn for Blankets.

Pill Bottle Crafts

Even if you are an experienced crafter, having access to free crafting tutorials can never hurt! These simple craft how tos will teach you how to create unique, beautiful pieces for your home without the added stress and expense. Make crafting fun and relaxing again by using this helpful list as a crafting resource for you and your friends! The best way to learn about helpful crafting techniques is by sharing with those around us. So what are you waiting for? Start reading part 2 for priceless crafting insight!

Our Newest Craft Tutorials:

1. Mod Podge vs. Glue
2. Lessons Learned from My First Shibori Dyeing Experience
3. 17 Crafty Uses for an Old Toothbrush
4. Recycled Flower Pots: 29 Water Bottle Planters and More DIY Planter Pots
5. Crumple Tie-Dye Technique
6. Pill Bottle Crafts: Reuse Pill Bottles with this Crafty Guide
7. Best Yarn for Blankets
8. Upcycle Your Old Household Items into Crafts
9. What Is Shibori Tie Dye?
10. How to Choose the Best Craft Glue
11. What Are the Best Knitting Needles for Beginners?
12. How to Wash Craft Felt

Don’t forget to sign up for the FaveCrafts newsletter, Quick and Crafty, for daily crafts and tips delivered straight to your inbox.

“What is your best advice for new crafters?”

Today’s Learn How to Quilt Tips: Quick and Easy Quilting Tutorials and Techniques Our Readers Love

The editors at FaveQuilts are always trying to update our techniques and tutorials section because we know if that there’s always something new for even the most experienced quilters to learn. We’ve learned a lot about what tutorials our quilters find most important, and we’re sharing these important lessons with you (thanks to The Graphics Fairy for all the cute images!):

Dresden Plates

The gorgeous Dresden Roses from V and Co have been a hit since the very first day we featured them on our site. Not only does this tutorial show quilters how to make a Dresden plate, but also how to add those perfect flourishes that will ultimately make your quilt blossom.

More Dresden tutorials:

 

Sewing Machine

It’s important to remember maintenance, and our readers made sure to get the best advice possible with the How to Clean a Sewing Machine tutorial from Amy’s Creative Side. Take a break from your pattern and look through these up-close images that will help you zoom in on the most important details and really take care of your machine.

More Machine tutorials:

 

Rag Quilts

Keeping the family warm as the cold weather starts to blow in is a task many of our quilters faced head on. They referenced the Rag Quilting Video Tutorial from our Youtube channel and made some cuddly and shaggy quilts to keep their home looking cheery and feeling snuggly.

More rag quilt tutorials:

 

Quilting Supplies

Starting a project without having the proper supplies handy can be a big mistake. Worried about costs? Then like our readers, you’ll be interested in smart tips and tricks like Stocking Your Station with School Supplies from Patchwork Posse. You can learn some smart ways to save that will really come in handy during your future craft store trips.

More ways to save:

 

These tutorials aren’t the only way you can work on your quilting. We’re offering two exciting giveaways that encourage learning, as well as being prepared.

Annie's Quilting ClassYou can enter to win an online class from Annie’s Catalog and get a step-by-step breakdown of how to make a quilt from start to finish. You’ll learn how to make the gorgeous Bric and Stones pattern using chain piecing and plenty of half square triangles. Both beginners and experienced quilters will enjoy this. Enter by the 23rd.

 

TrueCut Tools Prize PackReady to start your next pattern? That won’t be a problem if you are stocked with the innovative materials in the TrueCut Tools Pack. One lucky winner will get cutters, rulers, and plenty of tools that will help you maintain the quality of your new materials for a long time. Enter by the 19th.

 

What’s your #1 quilting tip?

Sewing Essentials: 7 Easy Sewing Projects to Keep You Organized During the Holidays

As the holidays approach, we’re all gearing up for the big crafting push before Christmas. It’s time to get going on all those hats, sweaters, skirts, quilts, and other sewn gifts that you’ll be putting under the tree come December 25th. But as rewarding as giving a homemade gift can be, there’s no denying that Santa’s to-do list around the holidays is pretty intimidating. But have no fear! AllFreeSewing is here to help you through the stress of holiday sewing with these 7 Easy Sewing Projects to Keep You Organized During the Holidays. From sewing room organization to easy sewing techniques, here are seven secrets to keep you sane through New Year’s!

Easy Breezy Pattern Weights

Easy Breezy Pattern WeightsInstead of using traditional pins to hold the edges of your sewing projects in place, try making these Easy Breezy Pattern Weights. They’re a great way to avoid poking holes in your sewing (and suffering from pinpricks). Best of all, you can whip up these homemade pattern weights in under an hour! There’s no better way to prepare for your Christmas sewing projects than with some snazzy new tools to make sewing just a little easier.

 

One Step No-Sew Quilting Gloves

One Step No-Sew Quilting GlovesThere’s no better homemade Christmas gift than a cuddly holiday quilt, but all that machine work really does a number on your hands. These One Step No-Sew Quilting Gloves are one of those easy no-sew crafts that will totally change the way you quilt—especially during the holidays, when you’ll be spending long hours at your sewing machine. These gloves will preserve your hands and make the work go faster, so you can get as much out of your quilting as the person who will snuggle up beneath the finished product.

Wrapping Paper Organizer

Wrapping Paper OrganizerIt seems like all my scissors and tape mysteriously go missing in the weeks before Christmas. Combat last minute gift-wrapping panic with this awesome Wrapping Paper Organizer, which has more than enough space to hold all the bits and bobs you need during the holidays.

Even better, this nifty DIY organizer can stay in your sewing room all year long so that you can keep track of all the sewing miscellany that never seems to want to stay put (I’m looking at you, seam ripper). This is one holiday sewing essential that you won’t want to do without.

Patterned Tailor’s Ham

Patterned Tailor's HamThe Patterned Tailor’s Ham is insanely easy to make, costs next to nothing, and will radically change the way you sew your own clothes! The Tailor’s Ham lets you shape and sew projects to better fit body contours. Use this great tool to make sewing garment Christmas gifts a breeze. It won’t take any time at all to whip up one of these wonderful sewing helpers. Your gifts will fit better than ever and you’ll save time on troublesome hemlines.

 

Quick and Easy Ironing Mat

Quick and Easy Ironing Mat

Ironing boards are handy and necessary during certain sewing projects, but they’re bulky, cumbersome, and take up tons of space in the sewing room. Give yourself a little elbow room with the Quick and Easy Ironing Mat! This DIY ironing board pad can rest on any flat surface – a table, the floor, or even the seat of a chair. For those projects that call for pressed seams or just a little bit of heat, this is a lifesaver. Even better, this ironing mat is incredibly portable, so you can work on your projects wherever you want to without dragging a full ironing board all over the house!

Sewing Sausage Roll

Sewing Sausage RollSmart sewing starts with good equipment, and it doesn’t get any smarter than the Sewing Sausage Roll. This small DIY cushion helps prevent unwanted creasing during ironing, so your homemade Christmas gifts will look fresh and unwrinkled as they’re unwrapped.

Use the Sewing Sausage Roll as a buffer between between your pressed seam and the rest of the project to get a clean, professional look. This is one of the handiest little sewing tools to have around during the rush of Christmas sewing, when you don’t have time to work with every seam to get the wrinkles out.

 

Handy-Dandy Sewing Caddy

Handy Dandy Sewing CaddyOne fundamental truth about the holidays is that it’s nearly impossible to find time to sit down in your sewing room and get things done. Use this Handy-Dandy Sewing Caddy from Ginabean Quilts to cart projects around during your busy schedule. Any knitting, crochet, or embroidery projects can be tucked safely into the caddy so that you can return to them whenever you have a free moment to sit. The outside pockets are perfect for needles, thread, and scissors, so you’ll never have to worry about losing anything. Don’t let a busy schedule get in the way of your sewing! With a little creativity, you can conquer your to-do list without breaking a sweat.

 

What’s the best trick you’ve learned to get through the stress of the holidays?

Win a Crystal Katana and Bring Some Bling to Your Life

Every girl loves to add a bit of bling to her belongings. What phone case or compact couldn’t be improved by crystal embellishments? If you’ve ever tried your hand at bedazzling, you know that it can be a bit tricky – catapulting crystals, glue mishaps, and tweezer catastrophes are just a few of the frustrations you can encounter. However, a new product has been developed that will have you kissing your bedazzling blues goodbye. With the Crystal Katana, blinging your belongings has never been easier. If crystals are your Kryptonite, then it’s your lucky day, because AllFreeJewelryMaking is giving away a Crystal Katana prize pack to one lucky winner!

Say “sayonara” to sticky waxes, hard-to-handle tweezers and tools, and airborne crystals. With the Crystal Katana, you can bling almost anything with absolute ease. Made by glitzing guru Kellie DeFries of CrystalNinja, the patent-pending Crystal Katana is a dream come true for DIY-ers with a desire to dazzle. The waxy, pointed end allows you to easily pick up and place crystals, and the chrome end allows you to press them into place for ensured adhesion. No stress, no mess, no fuss or frustration. It’s really that simple!

The wax end has just enough grab to easily stick and release crystals without leaving a greasy residue. The chrome end is designed with a small opening that lets you press crystals in place securely. The tool itself is large enough to provide a secure grip, unlike teensy tweezers, but is light enough that it can be maneuvered with ease and comfort. It’s so effortless to manipulate, Kellie DeFries has used it to bedazzle everything from phone covers to car hoods!

crystalkatanaprizepack

Why leave your life sparkle-less any longer? Enter for your chance to win a Crystal Katana and bring a bit of bling to your life. The Crystal Katana Giveaway prize pack includes one Crystal Katana tool, a bottle of Dreamtime Creations rhinestone adhesive, five syringes and tips for gluing, and a large assortment of Swarovski Elements flatback crystals. What a haul! Contest ends May 6, 2013, and you can enter once a day, so keep coming back to improve your chances!

What would you bling first with your Crystal Katana?

 

Ask Maria: Combine Crochet and Knit with The Knook

Reader Question: My friend said there is now a crochet hook that you can also knit with but I can’t find it anywhere. Have you heard of such a needle?

The FaveCrafts.com team is just back from attending the 2012 Winter CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) trade show and we did find the amazing tool you are talking about. It’s called The Knook from Leisure Arts, a company you may recognize for being a leader in needleart and craft books. We even got to try our hand at knitting with this crochet hook.  Ribbon is used as your “second” knitting needle while one end of The Knook is pointed end with a hole to thread your ribbon through.(there is a traditional hook at the other end) the ribbon stays  attached to this pointed end.  The idea behind The Knook is that you can combine crocheting and knitting within one project. Leisure Arts has several excellent videos demonstrating the technique and stitches.

You can purchase The Knook on CutRateCrafts.com

Starting tomorrow, AllFreeCrochet.com is giving away a Knook to one lucky winner!

Maria Nerius is the Craft Expert at FaveCrafts.com. She’s worked and crafted for over 30 years and loves to answer questions about any craft technique. Send us your question today!

3 Supplies That Every Crafter Needs

Preparation is the key to success, and the key to preparation is having the right tools.  For instance, if you want to make an omlette, you need some eggs and a willingness to break them, if you want to be Batman then you need a utility belt and a butler, and if you want to make a Shakespearean farce then you need identical twins, cross-dressing, and puns.  However, most of you out in our corner of the blogosphere are more interested in crafting, so what are the essential tools every craft-fan needs in their arsenal?  We put the question to you on facebook, and here are a few of the best answers we received!

When we started looking at all the comments, a pattern started to emerge very quickly

The humble cutting tool, mainstay of the kitchen and the medieval battlefield, was almost invariably the first or second thing on the minds of our readers when it came to the craft table.  With scissors occupying such a high position in the crafting hierarchy of needs, you’ll want to be sure to own the best pair for your particular fancy.  Most fabric projects call for a pair of scissors like these.  Lower qualities scissors derive their cutting power from the shearing action between the two blades rather than sharpness, but you’ll want sharp and heavy scissors that can go through even delicate fabrics without any tearing.  Embroidery scissors are  narrow and sharp-pointed, perfect for snipping and trimming.  For paper crafts, a pair of good general purpose scissors like these will get the job done, but you can get more selective based on the sort of work you’re doing.

Personally, I’m not willing to do anything more stressful than getting up from my chair without a good cup of coffee, but it’s clear from the feedback we received that adhesives are the #2 most mentioned crafting item.  A lot of you clearly appreciate the convenience and speed that comes from a hot glue gun, not to mention the opportunity to make “Zap! Zap!” noises and pretend you’re in a 1970’s sci-fi movie.  Beyond that, there’s a whole plethora of glues out there for different projects, so check labels to see what’s best for the project at hand.
Some general glue rules of thumb:

  • Don’t glue your thumb to anything
  • Look for a non-toxic glue when possible, especially when planning crafts for kids.
  • Always be careful when using super-powerful adhesives.  Generally these should only be used in well-ventilated areas, and be sure to lay down newspaper, or some other covering to protect surfaces from being damaged by errant droplets.

It was fearless crafter Stacy Palmer who best summed up the thought process that was going on in so many of our reader’s minds

Of course, with so many different crafts in the world, exactly what kind of scrap people prefer to play with was very different.  In our extremely informal poll the most popular choices were paper (including cardstock) and fabric.

Beyond that, many of our readers wanted to stress the importance of intangibles

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

 

Do you agree with our respondents?  What items would you add or subtract?

FaveCrafts 365 Favorite Tool Do-Over

I watched a movie last night and in the movie one of the kids goes running through the house yelling, “Do over! Do over!” I’d never heard the phrase before and just loved it. Imagine if we could just yell “Do over!” every time we messed up, wanted to change our minds, or just felt like starting over! Life doesn’t really work that way after the age of 5, but I thought it might be fun to have a little FaveCrafts 365 Do Over…  Check out the v-log!

FaveCrafts 365 Glove It!

Don’t let physical challenges with your hands stop you from doing the crafts you love. I discovered therapeutic gloves about 10 years ago and love using them. The gloves keep your hands warm and secure and gently message the muscles. If you do any repetitive hand movements like knitting, crocheting, cutting, or hand-sewing and feel your hands stressing or hurting, you might want to check out this wonderful tool!

Watch to see the latest in gloves!

You can find therapeutic gloves on CutRateCrafts.com. Click HERE!

FaveCrafts 365 Sanding Board Surprise

This FaveCrafts 365 explains that emery boards aren’t just for filing your nails! This handy (excuse the pun) and inexpensive grooming tool is also an excellent tool for your craft basket. Watch the video and see everything this little but mighty board can do!

Projects that need a little sanding power:

Aged Terra Cotta Wall Decoration

Charm Bracelet With Shrink Plastic

Copper Cuff